Purdy: In New Orleans, stuff happens – San Jose Mercury News


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Purdy: In New Orleans, stuff happens – San Jose Mercury News

  1. 1. Purdy: In New Orleans, stuff happens – San Jose MercuryNewsClick photo to enlargeNEW ORLEANS — When the Super Bowl shows up here, stuff happens. It might have 1/4
  2. 2. something to do with the vibe.How many cities do you know where at noontime on a weekday, someone is paid to standoutside a bar in the middle of the street and hold up a large advertising sign that says: “HUGEASS BEERS”?How many cities do you know where another person is holding up another sign outside anotherestablishment: “WASH THE GIRL OF YOUR CHOICE”?I can only think of one. It’s the city where I saw both of those things Monday.The 49ers arrived here Sunday night. The team has no curfew until Tuesday. Many of theplayers also went out to see what they could see.“Bourbon Street, the whole street … dude, that’s crazy,” said offensive tackle Alex Boone.“I like the street bands,” said fullback Bruce Miller.“I saw a guy break-dance in the middle of the street,” said defensive lineman Aldon Smith.“I had a nice cup of gumbo today,” said defensive back Tarell Brown.As long as everyone is just watching and listening and gumbo-ing, the 49ers will be fine. As willthe Baltimore Ravens.And the week will proceed without incident. Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers coach, says he expects hisplayers to avoid trouble.“It’s something that some of the players have addressed and we have talked about very little,”Harbaugh said. “We trust our team … we just trust our team.”Trouble is, trust isn’talways enough. Outside forces can disrupt the internal peace. This will be the 10th time theSuper Bowl has been played in New Orleans, tying it with Miami as most frequent host city. Buthistory tells us that, for whatever reason, normalcy never accompanies a Super Bowl in theseparts. It has been that way ever since the first one played here, Super Bowl IV in 1970.That week, as Kansas City and Minnesota prepared to face each other, the name of Chiefsquarterback Len Dawson suddenly surfaced in a federal gambling investigation, sparking amedia frenzy and forcing Dawson to hold a midnight news conference to proclaim his innocence(he was correct). Then, during the pregame show, a hot-air balloon crashed into the stands. TheChiefs survived and won.In 1981 when the Raiders came here to play Philadelphia in Super Bowl XV, Oakland defensivelineman John Matuszak told reporters that he planned to patrol the French Quarter party district 2/4
  3. 3. to make sure that younger Oakland players did not stay out too late. Matuszak then stayed upall night himself at a burlesque bar on Bourbon Street and returned to the Raiders’ hotel after 5a.m., meeting a few teammates who were rising for breakfast.In 1986 before Super Bowl XX, Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon became upset after a localbroadcaster reported third-hand gossip that McMahon had referred to the women of NewOrleans as “sluts.” This sparked an angry protest demonstration outside the Bears’ hotel–andcaused McMahon to drop his pants and moon an overhead helicopter TV news camera thatwas shooting video of Chicago’s practice.In 1990 before the 49ers’ first Super Bowl appearance here, a Washington, D.C., televisionstation reported that “three white NFL quarterbacks” had tested positive for cocaine but that theleague was covering up those results. It was the bad luck of Joe Montana and John Elway to bethe only white quarterbacks in town, so they were unfairly put on the griddle. When Montanawas asked if he had ever failed a drug test, he answered, “No, only an accounting test.”In 1997, after Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre had been banned from drinking alcohol by theNFL because he was recovering from a painkiller addiction, he was allegedly spotted in asaloon on Bourbon Street. That created another media kerfuffle that didn’t ease up until thePackers dispatched the Patriots to win the game.In 2002, when Super Bowl XXXVI was played less than five months after the 9/11 attacks,security concerns were paramount. Army tanks were parked outside the Superdome, and fighterjets patrolled the skies above the French Quarter before the Patriots upset the Rams. Frankly, it would be an upset if absolutely nothing crazy happens between now and kickofftime. Maybe it will involve fans or celebrities rather than players. When you drop America’sbiggest drunken party weekend into the middle of a theme park for alcohol, there can beconsequences.This is the first Super Bowl here since Hurricane Katrina wiped out big chunks of the city in2005. But the tourist areas have been back in party-down shape for a while. And the civicleaders still embrace the good-times-roll mojo, with no shame.Monday, the city’s Super Bowl Host Committee held a formal media session that featured civicofficials and the committee co-chairs, Mary Matalin and James Carville. The two famous politicalconsultants live here as a married couple. They spoke about the pluses that New Orleans offersas a Super Bowl site, especially the compact downtown with its easy access to the footballstadium, restaurants, bars, party locations and the convention center.“You can walk everywhere,” Matalin noted.“Or, as I say, you can stumble everywhere,” Carville added.What unpredictable nuttiness will this Super Bowl stumble into before Sunday? The visiting49ers fans might want to ponder that question over a cup of gumbo and one of those large, 3/4
  4. 4. ahem, beers. Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MercPurdy. Source Article from http://www.mercurynews.com/mark-purdy/ci_22469451/ Waddywood.com Purdy: In New Orleans, stuff happens – San Jose Mercury News 4/4Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)